Find a quiet place and sit down (or lie down) and spend a dozen or more minutes with God. Not the kind of prayer when you talk at God (there's place for that). But the prayer that listens deeply. Yields. Is simply present to God. Being with the Mystery. Communion. What do you do?

Begin this way . . . step one of three.

Sit (or lie) still. Alert. Become aware of your body. Find places of tension with you. (I carry my tension in my jaw and cheeks. My gut too.) Find the tension and release it gently. Let your body, settle into a natural stillness. Now let your breath fall into a natural rhythm. Don't control it. Let it comes to a natural in and out rhythm, as if you were sleeping.  Feel the life in your body.  The Orthodox Fathers searched inwardly until they could feel their heart beating. Tough. But most beginners can feel a sense of aliveness in their hands.

You seek God alone. But your body is a vessel for the Holy Spirit. The fullness of God dwells in your body, scandalous as that may be. The Incarnation teaches us to honor the body; so does Christian thought and practice. If you're going to meet God, you will meet God by becoming more aware of your body, letting your body be that vessel of encounter. If you're not in your body, you'll not meet God. You'll be everywhere else but the one place God's come to meet you.

Sit still. Sit straight. Breathe. Relax. And as you do you may begin to gently let a prayer (like the Jesus Prayer) rise and fall with your breath. In . . . "Jesus." Out . . . "Mercy." Or something similar.

Don't fret if your thoughts drag you away. They'll try. When they do, simply and undramatically return to your senses---follow your breath into your body, and corral the mind with a simple prayer.  Classically, this is the purgative or cleansing step.  With each breath, confess your tension.  Confess the difficulty you have getting still.  Confess the thoughts, ideas, images that want to lead you anywhere but here.  Confess your need for God.  Let go. Release.  Unburden.

Begin with 10 minutes and work up to 25 minutes. Once or twice a day.

Step two next post.